As old man winter begins to pack up his things, and the soft, warm breeze of spring moves in, so does Pirate baseball.
The 2016 season proved to be a historic one for ECU as the Pirates beat the Virginia Cavaliers, who were the defending national champions, to capture the school's first ever super regional title.
After their glorious victory, ECU traveled to Lubbock, Texas to face Texas Tech. After winning the first game, ECU was onw game away from advancing to the holy grail of college baseball - The College World Series.
The next game, ECU and Texas went 13 innings, and Texas Tech emerged as the winner. Texas Tech also won the next game and sent ECU packing short of their end goal.
In that pivotal second game that went 13 innings, ECU managed to load the bases in the bottom of the 12th, but was unable to score, leaving them 90 feet short of going to Omaha.
With thoughts of frustration and disappointment stirring around the players' and coaches' heads, what can we expect for the 2017 season?
ECU begins their season with a three-game road trip at Ole Miss. Last year, Ole Miss exited the tournament one round before the PIrates. At any rate, this first series should be a great way to gauge how the team improved during the offseason.
Though ECU's pitching staff is already pretty stacked, this year's field of commits should make the rotation even stronger, with the addition of five pitchers.
Considering ECU is only lost five seniors, this year's team should find themselves back at a super regional, and perhaps go even deeper than last year.
All-in-all, it's going to be a great 2017 for Pirate baseball.